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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 50

Broad and General Ideas of Progress

Broad and General Ideas of Progress.

It should be the aim of the institution to entertain and inculcate broad and general ideas of progress and of the capacity of mankind for advancement in civilization. It is clear that to insure the steady advancement of civilization great care must be exercised in the matter of the general development of the great body of the people. They need education in the fundamental principles of government, and we know of no text so plain page 30 and so suggestive as that clause in our Declaration of Independence, which declares that 'among the inalienable rights of man are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and that to secure these rights governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.'

A government founded on such principles commands for the support and protection of individual rights the force of the whole people. With these principles fully recognized, agrarianism and communism can have only an ephemeral existence.

The merely physical wants of civilized man are not much greater than those of the savage, but his intellectual wants are bounded only by his capacity to conceive. His wants, therefore, will always depend upon his advancement in civilization, and the demand for labor will be measured accordingly. The rapidity of the communication of modern thought and the facilities for transportation make the civilized world one great neighborhood, in whose markets all producers meet in competition. The relative compensation to the producer must depend upon his powers of production.